Midday Podcast | WYPR

Midday Podcast

Midday is WYPR's daily public affairs program heard from noon-1pm, Monday-Friday. Topics range from the latest news, to local and national politics, to social, medical and cultural trends, featuring the best new books and most engaging authors, newsmakers and guests.

Photos courtesy Edward Boches; Matt Carr

Last night, the New England Patriots won one of the most exciting Super Bowl championships in football history.  Will any of the ads that aired during the game go down in history?  Do Super Bowl ads even matter anymore? 

These days, a lot of advertising comes to us surreptitiously, often so heavily disguised that we don’t even know it is advertising, sponsored by a corporate entity.

Mara Einstein is Professor of Media Studies at Queen’s College in New York City.  Her latest book is called “Black Ops Advertising,” about why advertisers are becoming publishers, publishers are  becoming advertisers, and how these blurred lines are influencing not only what we spend and where we spend it, but even how we think about ourselves and about the issues shaping our society. 

Edward Boches is Professor of Advertising at Boston University's College of Communication.  He is a former partner at Mullen, a large ad firm, who has created several Super Bowl spots.   He is co-author, with Luke Sullivan, of the new fifth edition of “Hey Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads”, which updates the popular text with chapters on digital, social and emerging media.  Boches writes the popular industry blog Creativity Unbound and shares his insights and opinions regularly on Twitter.

 

Professor Einstein joins Tom on the line from Argot Studios in New York, and Professor Boches connects from the public radio studios of WGBH, Boston. They're with us for the hour to shed light on the dark art of advertising, and to take your calls, emails and tweets.

photo courtesy cardin.senate.gov

Tom's guest for the hour today is the Senior Senator from Maryland, Ben Cardin

We are two weeks into a Trump administration that has moved quickly to make good on several campaign promises, but which has also retreated from other positions and aligned with policies long held by previous administrations.  Senator Cardin, a Democrat, has served in the U.S. Senate since 2007, and is currently the Ranking Member on the Foreign Relations Committee. He's also an outspoken advocate for the environment, financial ethics, health care reform, and small business development, among a broad range of legislative interests.

Tom asks Senator Cardin about Russia’s latest moves in Ukraine, the new Trump Administration's stance on expanding Israeli settlements in the West Bank , its new sanctions against Iran,  its feud with Australia, and the impact of its controversial immigration and travel ban. Other issues Tom explores with Senator Cardin:  What will the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) mean for Marylanders? And how would Appeals Court Judge Neil Gorsuch's confirmation as the 9th justice on the Supreme Court impact the nation's most powerful bench?

Those questions and more, plus listener calls, emails and tweets for the hour with Senator Ben Cardin.

FencesMovie.com

It’s Midday at the Movies!  Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have announced their nominees for top honors in last year's filmmaking, and in just a few weeks -- on Sunday, February 26th --  we’ll find out who the 2017 Oscar winners are.  Today, we’ll find out who Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday and Jed Dietz of the MD Film Festival are rooting for.  It’s not an Oscar So White year for nominees, but will black  actors or filmmakers actually take home any statues?  And Jed reports on some of his favorites from last month’s Sundance Film Festival.

Photo by Rob Clatterbuck

Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins us today, as she does each Thursday, with a review of the ambitious new production of Grey Gardens at Stillpointe Theatre.

Inspired by Albert and David Maysles' unforgettable 1975 documentary of the same name, the musical Grey Gardens offers a glimpse  into the poignant lives of Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale ("Big Edie") and her daughter Edith Bouvier Beale ("Little Edie"), played and sung by Zoe Kanter and Christine Demuth, respectively. 

The two women -- an aunt and niece of former First Lady Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis -- famously transformed from edgy, upstart socialites into isolated, hoarding eccentrics by the late 1950s, spending their reclusive existence reliving their pasts and tending a colony of cats in their derelict mansion -- dubbed "Grey Gardens" -- in the posh Long Island beach community of East Hampton, New York.

The 2006 musical had a successful Broadway run, thanks in part to the solid book by Doug Wright and an intriguing score by Scott Frankel (music) and Michael Korie (lyrics). 

Daniella Robinette and Ryan Haase co-direct this new production to take full advantage of Stillpointe Theatre's recently expanded performance space.  

Grey Gardens continues at Stillpointe Theatre through February 12. Ticket information here.

Baltimore City Public Schools

Last week, Baltimore City Public Schools President & CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises announced that unless additional funding is secured for next year’s school budget, Baltimore schools are facing layoffs of more than 1,00 students and faculty. Cuts to arts and enrichment programs are likely to come as well, as the system tries to to close a $130 million budget gap. Rising school costs and declining enrollment are not new challenges to city schools, but this year’s shortfall is the largest the district has faced in a long time.

The Baltimore Teachers Union called the layoffs “unacceptable” and Dr. Santelises herself concedes that her plan to balance the budget, will drastically change how the school system operates.

National Press Foundation

Mirroring the nationwide epidemic, the number of opioid addiction and abuse victims in Baltimore continues to rise, and overdose cases crowd the city’s emergency rooms.  Last week, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan appointed a Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force, and proposed new legislation for the General Assembly that would put strict limits on opioid prescriptions and impose tough new penalties for traffickers.  On this month's edition of  HealthwatchBaltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen joins Tom Hall  to discuss the city’s continuing response to the opioid epidemic. 

Dr. Wen answers our questions for the hour,  and takes your calls, emails and tweets about your public health concerns.

Stephen Melkisethian

We begin today with a conversation about the travel ban implemented by President Trump on Friday afternoon. The President blocked visitors from seven predominately Muslim countries, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The initial ban even included those who hold green cards. After a night and day of chaotic events at airports around the world, those holding green cards were allowed to re-enter the US.

Reuters

Today, we begin a regular Friday feature: The Midday News Wrap, in which we'll spend the hour reviewing major local, national and international developments with a rotating panel of esteemed journalists, commentators and community leaders.

Friday marks the end of the first week of the Trump administration, a week marked by a dizzying array of Executive Orders and official memoranda by the President that at times placed him in opposition to his senior team and Cabinet nominees.  Trump showed no inclination to change his tone or style following his inauguration, nor did he show an impulse to modify any positions in the face of clear evidence that he is mistaken.  

Monica Reinagel

Artificial sweeteners aren’t just in diet sodas anymore, they’re in many of the processed foods we eat, and a new study shows consumption of those fake sugars is soaring among the very young – from middle schoolers to toddlers. Should we be worried about that?  Licensed nutritionist Monica Reinagel thinks so. She joins us today for another edition of Smart Nutrition.  She’ll also weigh in on the never-ending debate over those low-fat versus low-carb diets – a debate the Nutrition Diva says we probably don’t need to have.

And she takes your calls, emails and tweets about food, dieting and nutrition.

Photo by Joan Marcus

Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins us every Thursday with her reviews of local and regional productions. This week, she's here with her take on Beautiful – The Carole King Musical , the touring-company production of the Broadway hit that's now on stage at Hippodrome Theatre through Sunday, January 29th.   Beautiful tells the story of King’s extraordinary rise to stardom.  It follows the arc of that career from the late 1950s to the early 1970s:  from her role in a hit songwriting team with husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann. We watch King's emergence as one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history.  Featuring an inspiring litany of treasured songs written by Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil, including “I Feel The Earth Move,” “One Fine Day,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “ You’ve got A Friend” and the title song, Beautiful has a book by Tony Award®-nominee and Academy Award®-nominated writer Douglas McGrath, direction by Marc Bruni, and choreography by Josh Prince. The musical has won two 2014 Tony Awards® and a 2015 Grammy® Award.

Beautiful - the Carole King Musical runs through Sunday, January 29th at Hippodrome Theatre. 

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